June 24 COVID-19 update: Delta variant found in Ottawa, Re-opening Step 2 starts June 30
Special to WC Online
OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19, one of which is the worrying Delta variant.
Today (June 24), OPH reports there have been 10 cases of the B.1.617.2 COVID-19 variant strain in Ottawa since early spring, but OPH says each case has been in isolation.
A COVID-19 community outbreak was cleared at a local distribution facility, but the health unit says it’s still monitoring three community outbreaks stemming from two retail businesses and one hotel or bed and breakfast.
Three local healthcare institutions and one childcare centre also remain on outbreak status.
The number of Ottawa hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down to seven, with three patients in intensive care.
The health unit says it is tracking 151 active cases of novel coronavirus.
Ottawa’s weekly incidence rate is down to 10.7 per 100,000 residents.
Residents being tested for COVID-19 are seeing positive results 1.7 per cent of the time.
No new COVID-19-related deaths today keeps Ottawa’s pandemic death toll at 589, which includes: one person in their 20s; one in their 30s; eight in their 40s; 25 in their 50s; 71 in their 60s; 111 in their 70s; 204 in their 80s; and 168 in their 90s.
The City of Ottawa has administered 87 per cent of the 869,410 COVID-19 vaccine doses it’s received to date. OPH releases new vaccination data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
More than 77 per cent of residents over 18 and 66 per cent of Ottawa’s entire population have had at least one dose. OPH says 23 per cent of adults and 19 per cent of the entire city’s population have had two doses.
There have been 27,617 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa (26,877 resolved) since the spring of 2020.
Ontario is reporting 296 new cases of COVID-19 today.
Ontario enters Step 2 June 30
ONTARIO – Ontario will enter Step 2 of the province’s three-step COVID-19 reopening plan on June 30.
The move will mean barbers and salons will be able to open next Wednesday, two days earlier than expected. Capacity limits for retail stores and patios are also expected to expand.
Outdoor gathering capacity will increase to 25 people while indoor gatherings will be allowed with up to five people.
“Because of the tireless work of our health care heroes, and the record setting success of our vaccine rollout, we are able to move into Step 2 ahead of schedule on June 30 with the support of our public health experts” Premier Doug Ford released in a statement today. “We are proceeding safely with the re-opening of our province and will continue to work around the clock until the job is done.”
A breakdown of Step 2 regulations
- Maximum 25 people for outdoor gatherings
- Maximum five people for indoor gatherings
- Religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services (does not apply to receptions)
- Indoor permitted at 25 per cent capacity of the room
- Outdoor permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of two metres
- Essential retail at 50% capacity
- Non-essential retail at 25% capacity
- Liquor stores open at 50% capacity
Restaurants and bars
- Outdoor dining with six people per table and other restrictions
- Karaoke permitted with restrictions (outdoor only)
Personal care services
- Open at 25% capacity to maximum of 5 people
- Appointment required
- Services that require the removal of a face covering not permitted
Sports and recreational fitness facilities
- Outdoor sports leagues open
- Training for professional or amateur athletes and/or competitions
- Closed for indoor use except for high-performance athletes and day camps
- Personal fitness and training
- Outdoor fitness classes and personal training – with limit on the number of patrons, 3 metres distance
- Outdoor recreational amenities
- Open with restrictions
- Outdoor pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools and water slides open
- Meeting and event spaces
- Outdoor spaces open at 25% capacity and other restrictions
Indoor meeting and event spaces remain closed, with exceptions for certain purposes, including for viewing for potential booking of a future event
See a complete list of what can reopen in each step.
Roadmap to re-open
Step 2 requires 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of Wednesday (June 23), 76 per cent of Ontario adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and roughly 27 per cent are now fully vaccinated.
That vaccination rate matches the 70 to 80 per cent that is outlined for Step 3 of the reopening plan.
Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, had appeared reluctant to significantly speed up the re-opening plan that has each stage separated by 21 days, citing the risk of a virus resurgence with a more infectious variant spreading.
He said last week, however, he would consider moving to Step 2 a few days ahead of schedule.
Williams will give his last COVID-19 update as chief medical officer of health today. The province tabled a motion last month that would replace Williams after more than five years in the role.